California Cool, London Chic Merge In A La Jolla Home


modern exterior entry landscape

To execute the design for the front door of a La Jolla house, architect Mark A Silva tapped Studio Deline for the metalwork and Stine Poole for the woodwork. Once inside, the eye goes immediately to the ocean views. Landscape architect David McCullough used cacti and grasses, among other plantings, to soften the rectilinear lines of the home.

modern great room staircases sliding...

Staircases stand at either end of a wall that continues through to the exterior, flaring out at a 9-degree angle. Visible through Fleetwood windows, on the adjacent patio, Cane-line pieces offer seating. The dining room next to the kitchen showcases a Riva 1920 table surrounded by chairs from Design Within Reach.

modern kitchen wood countertop hanging...

Sleek Leicht cabinetry forms the kitchen island. Above it--where Normann Copenhagen barstools from the Danish Design Store pull up to a wood countertop--hang Tom Dixon pendants from YLighting. The Mirabelle sink has a KWC faucet. An Arteriors mirror is on the wall behind.

modern great room kitchen midcentury...

A pair of midcentury chairs from 1stdibs resting on a Safavieh rug look to a double-height fireplace of copper sheeting that functions as both a massive sculpture and a room divider between the kitchen and the great room. In the gallery-like space at the top of the stairs, artwork by Nancy Willman and David Mayhew draws attention upward.

modern bedroom neutral gray sliding...

The husband grew up nearby and can catch glimpses of his childhood home from the CTT Furniture bed in the master suite. The wood plank floor is overlaid with a Feizy rug. Curtains made with Harlequin fabric can be drawn for privacy and darkness.

modern bedroom gray sitting area...

In the master suite's sitting area, separated from the sleeping area by a wall inset with a vintage window from Salvage One in Chicago, there is space for work and relaxation. The sofa is by Camerich, and the coffee table is Seasonal Living. A Gubi chair joins the Riva 1920 desk.

modern outdoor staircase white oak...

Skylights pierce a stretch of the white-oak ceiling that extends to the exterior. The sliding doors open fully, allowing the inside and outside to flow together seamlessly--a key component of an architectural program intended to capitalize on west-facing views and cooling ocean breezes.

modern outdoor staircase to pool...

Meandering from the house to the pool, a staircase is the only component retained from the home previously built on the site. It traverses four levels, passing by distinct outdoor moments, including a California interpretation of a traditional English garden, complete with parterres and herbs.

modern outdoor pool guesthouse

Visible from the main floor terrace is the guest-pool house with a large deck that cantilevers past the level change to create what the architect terms a "chill out" space adjacent to the pool. Beyond is the coastline. The metal roofing was manufactured on-site.

Mixing West Coast cool with London sophistication was the latest challenge for a design team working on a La Jolla, California, home–and they seamlessly delivered.

“The California ‘maker’ vibe is definitely in the house,” designer Anita Dawson says of her United Kingdom-based clients’ vacation home.

Not only is the sensibility evident in architect Mark Silva‘s choice of materials — stacked stone, ipe wood and poured concrete floors — it comes across in details like the handcrafted front door and a pendant made of bicycle chains.

In short, the home has a hand-built funky aesthetic, but the scale is nothing like your typical California beach shack.

“When you come in,” Silva explains, “you’re in the smallest area of the house. Then the walls and ceiling splay out by nine degrees.”

For the furnishings, Dawson mixed Scandinavian accent furniture, a fur rug and some classic midcentury modern pieces with industrial chic lighting in a way that telegraphs an updated and more stylish hippie aesthetic.

Take a look at the retreat’s hip interior.